Yvette and Sunny flew from Hong Kong to Toronto for their pre wedding photos. Sunny is a pilot in Toronto. Yvette went to school at OCAD Toronto and returned to Hong Kong for work upon graduation. Their love story is a long distance one and involves frequent flying between two cities. They're having a traditional Chinese wedding in Hong Kong to meet both side's parents' expectations. But personally, Yvette and Sunny desire an intimate wedding, something small and private. Eloping to Toronto for their pre wedding photos became a sensible choice. They want their pre wedding pictures to be tasteful and elegant yet have a hint of an elopement storyline.
Graydon Hall Manor is a popular wedding venue in Toronto. It's a unique and intimate location and good for both indoor and outdoor weddings. Many choose the venue for its beautiful outdoor garden (click here to see a garden wedding I shot in the same summer and here a fall wedding at Graydon Hall). Graydon Hall has different vibes in different seasons and is gorgeous for wedding photos all year round. Yvette brought two dresses with her for this pre wedding shoot. A red evening dress goes well with Graydon Hall's 19 century castle like indoor space. Yvette's classic white wedding dress, on the other hand, enhances their garden wedding photos. The spacious garden adds privacy and intimacy to the images. Sunny holds Yvette's hand and walks her in this magical garden. There's nothing but just the two of them. It's an elopement in the middle of the city, in the midst of it all, in the name of love. Elopement is not just physically running far far away but a mental state of oneness between two people.
Pre wedding photography is a trend in Asia. It's popular in many Asian countries. I personally find the traditional pre wedding photos too posed. I'm a candid wedding photographer and traditional pre wedding photography doesn't go very well with my documentary approach. I prefer photos that are natural and soulful. There are other pre wedding photographers in Toronto but I have more of an alternative style. I focus on intimacy and flow of actions. Toronto is a great place for wedding photography with lots of talented wedding photographers of different believes and approaches in their arts. Pre wedding photography in Toronto is still more popular among Asians. But the idea is universal. Pre wedding photography takes away the stress of getting all wedding portraits done on a wedding day. It also allows more time to make these portraits on a different location than one's wedding venue. We're also in more control of the time of the day for pre wedding photos than wedding day photos and hence make it possible to choose a time that's favourable for portraits (think softer and more flattening natural light).I want to conclude by saying that I believe pre wedding photos is a broader idea than what I think it's thought to be. It's not mandatory. It's an opportunity to get more photos in a different, often more relaxed mindset than on one's wedding day. It's to spend private moments with your partner and have it documented in photos. It's to choose the photography style that resonates with you. It's not necessarily staged. It's not as posed as one would imagine and can be genuinely and purely candid if we wish. It's not as close to an everyday lifestyle shoot as an engagement session but far more casual than photos taken on a wedding day especially if you're having a big wedding and expecting a busy wedding day. It makes a difference in the final images when you're actually enjoying a stress-free process. Not to forget that there are also lots of unique locations for pre wedding photos in Toronto from hidden forest to the water front, from manmade castles to cityscape, from the most hipster space to the many romantic classy venues. Pre wedding photography is definitely not for everyone. But for those who see its benefits, it'll be a memorable day and a lot of fun with genuine laughters behind the scene while making beautiful pre wedding photos.
Go to Toronto Documentary Wedding Photography home page to see recent works and real weddings.